Song Xianggong 宋襄公, Duke Xiang of Song ( -
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Song Xianggong 宋襄公, Duke Xiang of Song

Dec 2, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Song Xianggong 宋襄公 (r. 650-637) was a ruler of the state of Song 宋 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). He is sometimes counted as one of the so-called five hegemons (wuba 五霸). His personal name was Zi Zifu 子茲甫 (the last character is also written 父), and he succeeded his father Duke Huan 宋桓公 (r. 681-651).

His older half-brother Muyi 目夷 served him as Counsellor-in-chief. Muyi advocated against an expansive politics towards the state of Chu 楚 and the struggle for succession of the hegemonial position over the Central States. Duke Xiang personally led a campaign against the state of Zheng 鄭. The army of Chu dispatched a supportive army to Zheng, and in the battle of Hongshui 泓水 (modern Zhuocheng 柘城, Henan) Song was defeated and the duke injured. A year later he died from a second wound received in a campaign.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1991). Shiji cidian 史記辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 236.